PENFIELD, N.Y. (WROC) — No matter how good your golf game is, getting into trouble is a necessary evil. How you deal with a bad situation can be the difference between a bogey and a round-killing score.
“There’s going to be times you’re going to hit it into the trees so we want to make sure we can get out of the trees as quickly as possible,” said David Coleman, PGA Assistant Golf Professional at Penfield Country Club. You want to take the safest route possible.”
The first step is to make sure you’re taking the right club. Coleman suggests a lower-iron such as a four or a five-iron. If you’re in some thicker rough, you might have to take a higher club. But remember that seven-iron will get higher faster.
The next thing you have to worry about is making sure that the ball is in the right spot.
“The ball position for a shot like this when we’re in the trees is going to be more in the back of our stance,” said Coleman. “With a normal five-iron shot, we’re going to probably play it on the inside of our left heel. We’re going to move it back, so it’s more in the back of our stance.”
To lower the trajectory even more, close the clubface a little bit. Then comes the swing and more importantly, the follow-through.
“We’ve got to restrict our follow-through because we want to make sure the ball comes out really low and running toward the green. The higher you finish there, the ball is going to get up into the trees,” said Coleman. “You want to make sure you restrict your follow-through, but you make sure your weight shifts over to your left side.”
Generally, when you’re in the trees, you just want to escape. But if you need to add some curve, it’s much easier to hit a hook.
“When you’re playing it lower, it’s definitely easier to hook the ball because you’re taking the club a little more to the inside,” said Coleman.
The important thing to remember is that hitting one shot out of the trees is bad, hitting more than one is a round-killer.
“I think one thing people try to do is they try to do too much. You’ve got to really take what’s given to you and you’ve got to make sure you get out of the trees as quickly as possible when you’re in trouble. Don’t try to compound your mistake,” said Coleman.
“A bogey isn’t terrible. A double, triple, quad, the higher scores can really derail your round. You want to make sure that you’re playing the smartest possible shot in all circumstances because if you try to go for that heroic shot and the percentage is low, it can really put you in a bad spot,” Coleman adds.
If you’re going to remember anything when you’re in the trees, remember the mindset. Your score will thank you later.